Rigabold the pernicketness felt proud of himself for helping the man on the footpath out. Maybe outwardly it didn’t appear that he’d done much, after all the hitch hiking hopeful hadn’t gotten his ride, but there was a lot more at play than just outward appearances. Whatever substance the man was on, in good faith he’d asked a fellow road traveller for ride, they’d spoken politely and in those few short words his mind told him that his request had been granted and he was where he wanted to be. Wherever the man thought he was, or thought he was going Rigabold had helped him get there without any fuss or drama. It was a good deed done!

As he was speaking to the man Rigabold felt a pang of guilt lying about where he was headed just because he didn’t want to give the man a ride. But that guilt faded as he climbed back into the driver’s seat and realised that he didn’t need to grant any wishes to fulfil the man’s hopes.

Rigabold munched down on his piping hot Chiko Rolls and looked at the map of Port Augusta trying to figure out where he could get his next round of food. Despite the fact that night had definitely fallen it was still relatively early, barely past 7:30pm, according to the GPS there was multiple places that would still be open for take away meals, some were restaurants, others were what many people called corner shops, or even milk bars.

All of the highlighted shops and restaurants were off the main road and although that didn’t worry Rigabold greatly the smaller and off the main road shop reminded him too much of the shop at Kimba. Dealing with humans at the best of times could be painful, they are such primitive creatures that have not evolved at all, but dealing with humans like he saw in Kimba was definitely the worst experience he’d had. Of course he realised that by grouping all take away shops in together he was probably being unfair to some of them, but he wasn’t ready to forgive.

A good reason for him not being ready to forgive was because there was a large service centre on the eastern side of town, in fact there was two service centres opposite each other. But according to the GPS he had a better than ninety percent chance of getting up to eight Chiko rolls cooked for him at the service centre on the side of the road he’d be travelling. With those sort of odds there would be plenty of other chances to forgive the small shop mentality of Kimba as his trip went on.

Finishing the last of his three Chiko Rolls Rigabold kicked the big Dodge in the guts, well not literally, he turned the key and started the engine. The Dodge hadn’t cooled sufficiently to warrant warming the engine but Rigabold let the engine idle and complete all its checks before he took off. When the GPS reported no faults he dropped the transmission into gear, turned the headlights on and began to move off from his parking space.

He had to sit at the driveway entrance to the truck parking area for a few moments as two road trains barrelled in from the same direction he had come. They had obviously slowed themselves down from highway speed but the sheer size of them on the two lane almost suburban road did make them appear to be moving faster than the sixty kilometre per hour speed limit.

“No wonder numpty humans always think these big bastards are speeding and breaking the law all the time.” Rigabold thought as he watched the trucks go past the front of his vehicle.

After the rear trailer of second road train passed Rigabold looked to his right, confirmed in his own mind that there was no further traffic coming and then pulled out into the left hand lane, the same lane the trucks were in.

Less than a kilometre from where he’d stopped he was following, from a distance, the tail lights of the second road train when he noticed something on the footpath to his left. Standing directly under a street light was the man Rigabold had spoken with on his way back to the car park, the man who thought he’d just gotten a ride to Darwin. He was waving eagerly with one hand and offering the thumbs up with his right hand. Rigabold knew it was a gesture of thanks and it pleased him to see that the man was still happy despite not actually having anything done for him. Because he couldn’t be seen in the dark cabin of his ute Rigabold gave two quick blasts of his horn and flicked on his left indicator briefly to let the man know he saw him, then continued to drive on.

Heading through Port Augusta was slow, even in the evening when so many people were home and off the road. There was a single lane bridge not far from where Rigabold rejoined the highway and there was traffic lights which it seemed were mostly red when Rigabold got close to them.

After the single lane bridge he decided he’d slip into the right hand lane of the dual carriageway and pass the two road trains. With the traffic lights and the slow take off of the trucks getting past them was easy and within a few minutes he was crossing a causeway and looking for his next service centre.

If it had been daylight he’d have been able to see the actual Port Of Augusta if he was looking north, but in the evening it was little more than a collection of lights in the darkness. At the eastern end of the causeway Rigabold saw the big green sign and the mass lighting, almost like a small town, which indicated the service centre he was after. He flicked on his left indicator, checked the mirror, then slowed down to prepare for the left turn onto the side road and the immediate right turn into the service centre.

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First Episode here.